Music: The Salsa Censors

A new battle heats up over Miami's ban on Cuban performers. Millions of dollars may be at stake

The Cuban dance band Los Van Van is so beloved at home that 100 years from now, goes a local joke, Fidel Castro will be known as a failed dictator who ruled in the age of Los Van Van. But until recently, the legendary salsa troupe, whose virile and eclectic rhythms have influenced Latin music for three decades, was not much more familiar to most Americans than the rich puff of a Cohiba cigar.

Then, last fall, Miami officials tried to block Los Van Van's debut performance in that city, citing a local ban on business with Cuban nationals. When the...

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